A Tree, A Coffee, A Thing, A Life: Newsletters I love and you might love too
It has been hard to find words this week and I find myself okay with that, for today at least. It seems like everyone’s newsletters show up in my inbox on Mondays and I’ve been pegging them all to be read sooner or later. Intermingled with details for an upcoming trip (which you will be invited to join me on!), the ramping up of A Curious Faith release (writing notecards to authors, signing nameplates, approving designs for preorder gifts, writing the script to some very special gifts for you all, and more), a new semester of school which begins in a week, and some other difficult things going on, finding time to read or write for the sheer pleasure and joy of it has taken a backseat. I don’t even know if this can be counted as that either. But I did want to share nonetheless.
I’ve come to really appreciate newsletters these days. I like the almost sly passivity of them. I don’t mean they’re sneaky or lazy, I just mean, they just show up in my inbox and wait for me to have time to read them. They don’t shout at me from social media or make me click through and save if I want to read but can’t right then or get lost in amongst all the other noise. They just sit there quietly, like hens on an egg or my pup on the porch or the pregnant buds of the my Irises, waiting for whatever comes next. And I like that. (I think it might be different if I let my inbox get out of control, but by God’s grace, it’s the one inbox in my life I aggressively maintain.)
Here are some newsletters I love:
James K. A. Smith’s, A Tree, a Rock, a Cloud is one of my favorites. I never get tired of it and I always find something interesting in it. Smith makes me think, he always challenges me, but he also always blesses me. I feel akin to him in some ways.
Grace Olmstead’s Granola. Grace writes about the land, preservation, home, restlessness, the earth, and more. She always has a pile of links that end up as open tabs on my browser for (sometimes) weeks. Lots of good food for thought here.
David French’s French Press. I read it every Sunday and I would share it every Sunday if I didn’t think that would get annoying. May his tribe increase.
Emily P. Freeman’s One Last Thing. I just like Emily. Emily’s voice is the voice I want in my ears when I get an MRI or a mammogram or am carsick. But I also just like her voice in my life when I’m sitting on the porch or drinking good tea or need a friend.
Tsh Oxenreider’s Five Quick Things. I don’t know why I wasn’t subscribed to this one before, but I’ve come to love it since I subscribed. I really like newsletters that link me to other cool things and thoughtful pieces because then I spend less time on social media which is just good for me. Tsh always has a great roundup of thoughtful things to share.
Michael Wright’s Still Life. He shares art and poetry and existential questions about life and faith. I always save his until I have a spate of time to savor and soak.
Jen Pollock Michel’s Post Script. Jen has long been one of my favorite contemporary thinkers and writers. She really just gets into whatever life is serving her and wrestles the goodness and truth out of it. We need more writers like her.
I hope you find one or two or all of these helpful additions to your inbox.
Also, I wanted to let you know about an upcoming retreat some of you may be interested in. Craft & Revision is offering an intensive writing weekend rich with craft instruction, spiritual direction, and creative community. Hosted by Image’s Creative Nonfiction Editor, Lauren F. Winner, along with as Amy Peterson and Charlotte Donlon, the retreats are open to applications until June 15. Find out more here here. I hope you’re able to participate.